Q&A: Going for the Golden Turkey with Matt Caughtran of The Bronx / Mariachi El Bronx

Posted on Thursday December 10th in


Q&A: Going for the Golden Turkey with Matt Caughtran of The Bronx / Mariachi El Bronx

Words by Matt Stocks

In bowling lingo, a Golden Turkey refers to nine strikes in a row.

But because most of the bands and artists that play the Brooklyn Bowl are often to busy – or scared – to bowl a few lanes with us when they’re in town, we call them up ahead of their shows and ask them to share nine nuggets of personal trivia.

That way, if we do come up against them in a Brooklyn Bowl-Off then we know who we’re up against. And you learn more about the acts you’re coming to see along the way…

Today’s contestant is Matt Caughtran from The Bronx / Mariachi El Bronx.

The band that made me want to play music was Black Flag. There was a ton of music that I was listening to before: and after, and in between. But they were the band that made it seem accessible and like it was a possibility for me to just be myself, pick up a microphone, and just go at it. So Black Flag was the band that sparked it for me. Listening to those records still drives me nuts to this day.

I don’t know what I’d be doing if it wasn’t for music. The Bronx has been a springboard for me to do a lot of stuff that I probably wouldn’t have had the confidence to do otherwise. If it wasn’t for the band, I imagine I would probably be doing something terrible somewhere: I’d either be in jail, or working some job that I hate and having a horrible life. Nothing ever really got me going like music has: nothing’s ever inspired me the way music has, or turned me on the way music has. So if it wasn’t for myself ending up in the band, I don’t even want to think about where I’d be.

The best piece of advice I’ve ever been given was from my dad. He used to say, “If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” I’ve kind of taken that as an approach to life, and it’s taught me to either talk my way through situations, or just confuse the shit out of people so they don’t really know what’s going on. That’s what we do in The Bronx: we try to confuse as many people as possible when we play shows, make records, tell people what we’re doing, and just how we approach song writing in general. Confusion is an art that takes some mastering, and it’s a powerful tool in the right hands.

The first time I got drunk was pretty hilarious. The first band I was in was a Christian band, because I went to a Christian high school and by default that made the band Christian. The rest of the guys were pretty stiff, I guess you could say, and I went to this high school party one night and got super drunk: I was all over the place, and I thought it was the greatest thing ever. I woke up the next day with my first hangover, and when I got to band practice I got the word from the guys that I’d been kicked out of the band – apparently that wasn’t the type of image they wanted to put out there. They told me I needed to focus on serving the Lord if I wanted to stick around, and needless to say that didn’t happen. So that was the first and only time I’ve been kicked out of a band, and it was because I got drunk.

If I had to share a bed with one band member for an entire tour, it would have to be Ken Horne. He’s the sexiest member of The Bronx and the Mariachi El Bronx, and he’s probably the most polite in the group too. We’ve actually shared a bed numerous times. I’ll keep everyone’s personal quips to myself, because everyone’s got a little something weird – myself included – but Ken is the easiest lay, I guess you could say.

The best band I’ve ever seen live is Van Halen. We flew in to Minneapolis off tour right when Van Halen got back together with David Lee Roth, and they just so happened to be playing in Minneapolis that night. We got off the plane from Iceland, and we were able to get tickets to the concert, so we went straight from the airport to the gig. It was one of the raddest things I’ve ever seen in my life, because I didn’t really know if I’d ever get to see those songs played live. There’s those shows that you see in clubs and at festivals that are just amazing and that you’ll never forget, but there’s certain bands that are so big, and for me as a native Californian Van Halen are way up there: they’re kind of like The Stones or The Beatles. They’re rock ‘n’ roll gods. So to be able to see them was really fucking cool, and that’s probably the best show I’ve ever seen in my life. David Lee Roth was on fire that night too. He was great.

I’ve met a good amount of cool people in my life, but the coolest person I’ve ever met is my mum. She’s awesome, man. She’s always been down with me and helped me out any time that I needed helping. She loves the fact that I’m in the band, and she’s always supported me. She’s never second guessed me either, even though I fuck up all the time. So I’ve gotta give her some props. She’s the coolest person ever.

The best song ever written is Judy is a Punk by the Ramones. I fucking love that song. Imagine by John Lennon would be a close second. Ha ha! There’s so much amazing music out there and it changes every day, but if you’re talking about punk rock tunes then my favourite song off the top of my head would have to be Judy is a Punk. I’m always listening to the Ramones, and for me punk rock music starts and ends with them.


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